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Bracket-busters UAB wear mismatched shoes to raise cancer awareness

uab-shoes

The 14th-seeded UAB Blazers notched the first shocking upset of the 2015 NCAA Tournament, upending the third-seeded Iowa State Cyclones on Thursday by a score of 60-59 in an absolutely stunning thriller.

Some may have noticed that Blazers players wear mismatched shoes. Of course there’s a reason behind it, and it’s a terrifically heartwarming reason, too. It’s all part of a deeply meaningful quest to raise awareness for pediatric cancer.

Via UAB Athletics’ official site:

The UAB men’s basketball team has partnered with The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama to raise awareness and money for pediatric cancer. As part of this initiative, the Blazers will wear two different colored Nike shoes throughout the 2014-2015 season.

During head coach Jerod Haase’s first season at UAB, the Blazers adopted a young cancer survivor named Elijah Seritt. Since then, Elijah and his family have been a major part of the Blazers’ men’s basketball program.

Haase noticed during a game against a Spanish team that one of their players was wearing mismatched shoes. This inspired him to come up with the concept.

“We wanted to do something to recognize Elijah’s courageous battle and his role on our team,” said Haase. “We immediately thought wearing two different colors of shoes would cause fans to ask why and give us a perfect opportunity to raise awareness for pediatric cancer.”

Bravo.

The team’s monumental upset of Iowa State means UAB will have at least one more game to wear their mismatched shoes, meaning more opportunities for folks to ask why they do so. The fact that UAB’s movement to raise awareness for pediatric cancer undoubtedly will benefit from the attention afforded the team as a result of their unexpected victory.

(photo credit: UAB Media Relations)